San Francisco Pride has canceled Dee Snider‘s scheduled appearance at the June celebration after the Twisted Sister frontman expressed his support for a transphobic tweet from Paul Stanley.
The Kiss co-leader on Sunday posted a statement titled “My Thoughts on What I’m Seeing” in which he offered his unsolicited opinion on children exploring gender identity. “There is a BIG difference between teaching acceptance and normalizing and even encouraging participation in a lifestyle that confuses young children into questioning their sexual identification as though some sort of game and then parents in some cases allow it,” he wrote.
“With many children who have no real sense of sexuality or sexual experiences caught up in the ‘fun’ of using pronouns and saying what they identify as some adults mistakenly confuse teaching acceptance with normalizing and encouraging a situation that has been a struggle for those truly affected and have turned it into a sad and dangerous fad,” the rocker added.
By trivializing the experiences of trans people and describing the serious issue of gender identity as a game, Stanley’s statement perpetuated harmful stereotypes and mimicked the hostile rhetoric used by opponents of trans rights. So it was cause for concern when Snider shared Stanley’s post the following day and chimed in, “You know what? There was a time where ‘I felt pretty,’ too. Glad my parents didn’t jump to any rash conclusions! Well said, Paul Stanley.”
When asked by another Twitter user who asked if they were “losing a hero,” Snider replied, “Apparently so. I guess I’ll just need to turn in my LGBTQIA+ membership card … oh, wait! I’m gonna need it in a big way TBA.”
The last part was seemingly a reference to Snider’s scheduled SF Pride appearance, on which the organization subsequently pulled the plug. “San Francisco Pride was on the cusp of announcing Twisted Sister’s ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ as the unofficial rallying cry of this year’s SF Pride Parade & Celebration, with the band’s frontman Dee Snider performing the song on our center stage. Dee has always been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights,” SF Pride wrote in a statement published Tuesday.
“However, when we were notified about the tweet in which Dee expressed support for Kiss’ Paul Stanley’s transphobic statement, we were heartbroken and angry,” the organization continued. “The message perpetuated by that tweet casts doubt on young trans people’s ability to self-identify their gender.
“Transgender people, particularly transgender women and children of color, are disproportionately affected by hate and violence. And with transphobia proliferating and becoming more and more enshrined in law throughout the country — we have to stand up for the most impacted among us.
“We have mutually agreed to part ways, but appreciate Dee seeing this as a teachable moment and a reminder that even allies need to be educated to ensure that they are not casually promoting transphobia,” the statement concluded. “To all our allies — we want to call you in — not call you out.”
Snider’s current snafu comes just weeks after he publicly condemned Montana’s attempted drag ban bill. “You know I haven’t worn the Twisted Sister Makeup in many years … but now I’m tempted to put it back on!” the rocker proclaimed at the time, adding, “The bullying minority is getting away with murder and it is time for the true majority to start pushing back … HARD!”
UCR has reached out to Snider’s camp for comment regarding his removal from SF Pride.
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